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Football: Ronaldo tipped to take Ballon d'Or honours

After years living in the shadow of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to lift the 2013 Ballon d'Or at Monday's award ceremony in Zurich, pipping the Argentine and Franck Ribery in the process. National team coaches and captains as well as journalists from around the world have voted for the winner, with an initial 23-man shortlist being reduced to three last month.

Football: Ronaldo tipped to take Ballon d'Or honours

After years living in the shadow of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to lift the 2013 Ballon d'Or at Monday's award ceremony in Zurich, pipping the Argentine and Franck Ribery in the process. National team coaches and captains as well as journalists from around the world have voted for the winner, with an initial 23-man shortlist being reduced to three last month.

Football: Bale amongst Ballon D'Or nominees

New Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale joined team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and holder Lionel Messi on the Ballon D'Or shortlist Tuesday to decide the best footballer of 2013. Wales winger Bale was one of 23 nominees that included Bayern Munich's France international Franck Ribery, Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Manchester United forward Robin van Persie. Messi has won the last four editions of the award with Ronaldo triumphing in 2008.

Football: Bale amongst Ballon D'Or nominees

New Real Madrid signing Gareth Bale joined team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and holder Lionel Messi on the Ballon D'Or shortlist Tuesday to decide the best footballer of 2013. Wales winger Bale was one of 23 nominees that included Bayern Munich's France international Franck Ribery, Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Manchester United forward Robin van Persie. Messi has won the last four editions of the award with Ronaldo triumphing in 2008.

Football: Champions League winners over last 20 years

A list of the winners of the Champions League over the last 20 years following Bayern Munich's 2-1 victory over fellow Germans Borussia Dortmund on Saturday: 2012-13 Bayern Munich (GER) 2011-12 Chelsea (ENG) 2010-11 Barcelona (ESP) 2009-10 Inter Milan (ITA) 2008-09 Barcelona (ESP) 2007-08 Manchester United (ENG) 2006-07 AC Milan (ITA) 2005-06 Barcelona (ESP) 2004-05 Liverpool (ENG) 2003-04 Porto (POR) 2002-03 AC Milan (ITA) 2001-02 Real Madrid (ESP) 2000-01 Bayern Munich (GER)

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Messi wins Player of the Year for fourth time

By Brian Homewood ZURICH, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Argentina's Lionel Messi, still only 25, was named the world's best player for an unprecedented fourth year running on Monday. The award, officially known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or, came after the Barcelona player scored a remarkable 91 goals in 2012, a record for a calendar year.

Soccer-Ronaldo shocked by Boateng racism episode

ZURICH, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo said it was incredible that episodes of racism still happen in soccer stadiums after AC Milan abandoned a friendly in Italy last week because of offensive chants by spectators. However, the Portuguese forward was non-committal over Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng's decision to walk off the pitch over racist insults during the match against lower tier Pro Patria, saying it was a "personal decision."
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